Chesterton Tribune



Heavy morning rain floods roads

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How much rain deluged the area this morning? Depends where you live.

The Chesterton wastewater treatment plant recorded 1.6 inches in less than two hours, from 6:50 to 8:30 a.m.

A spotter elsewhere in the county, however, was reporting fully 2 inches in just 37 minutes and 2.66 inches between midnight and 8 a.m., David James at the Porter County Highway Department told the Chesterton Tribune.

Stormwater systems across Duneland were having a hard time keeping up with that much rainfall. Here in Chesterton, Broadway between Seventh Street and 12th Street was briefly under water, with pooling in roadways reported throughout the old part of town bordered by Broadway, 15th Street, West Porter Ave., and South Calumet Road.

“The drains were taking everything they could,” Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg said. “And then they maxed out. It takes around 30 minutes for the drains to catch up after it stops raining.”

Grace Lane, one of the entrances to Westchester South off Fifth Street, looked ready to hold a water-ski competition, while the water was deep enough on Michael Drive in Olde Towne and Duneland Cove to stall a car, Schnadenberg added.

The alley behind Val’s Pizza, at Broadway and 11th StreetÑimmediately east of the Marathon stationÑwas also shipping water, as it always does during heavy rains, and the owner of Val’s was reporting some flooding in his basement.

This could well be the last time the alley floods, though, with the near completion of a lift station at the site to pump down the alley during heavy rains.

“Very minimal” bypassing began at the wastewater treatment at 8 a.m. and ended at 9:50 a.m., Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported. But there were no lift station issues during the downpour, O’Dell said, with the single exception of the Walro lift station, which serves the Deer Run Apartments on Taylor Street. That lift station has been unpowered since Monday’s storm. NIPSCO is aware of the outage but has not yet had the opportunity to restore the juice, O’Dell said.

On the other side of the tracks, Porter Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer had news of “flooding everywhere,” forcing the closure of Waverly Road at State Park Road and also at Knoelke Drive as well as the closure of Wagner Road at Six Box Lane near the VFW.

Seven lift stations in Porter were at high flows, Brueckheimer added, and were being pumped down by the vacuum truck.

Brueckheimer warned motorists not to drive around any barricades they might encounter or risk stalling or worse.

Across the county the situation was much the same, Deputy Highway Superintendent David James said. Roadways all over the place had pools of standing water yet at 8 a.m. nothing to James’ knowledge was closed except for C.R. 125W just south of U.S. Highway 6 in Liberty Township. The folks who live in that neighborhood were, for all practical purposes, marooned, he said, and to add insult to injury have been without power since Monday’s storm.

Although this morning’s rain was not accompanied generally by high winds, some trees did nevertheless go down, weighted as they were by the rainfall, James noted.

James did say that C.R. 750W, south of Valparaiso, still remained closed, as NIPSCO had not yet responded to that site to deal with the downed wires.

INDOT: Beware of flooded roadways

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is warning drivers to be on the lookout for high water and debris on the roadways across the Northwest Indiana District.

Heavy rainfall was forecast to continue today, adding to troubles caused by severe storms and several inches of rain affecting the area over the last 48 hours.

INDOT crews are patrolling state roads, posting high water signs or closing roads as needed, and clearing tree limbs and debris that has fallen or blown into the path of motorists. But the potential for obstructions is high and drivers should use extreme caution in these conditions.

If you come across a flooded roadway, turn around. Never drive through standing water. According to the National Weather Service most flooding deaths occur in automobiles. Six inches of standing water is enough to stall a car and a foot of water will float many vehicles

INDOT encourages motorists and the media in Northwest Indiana to follow updates on high water closures or other restrictions through our social media sites.

Contact the LaPorte District toll free at (855) GO-INDOT.





Posted 6/26/2013